Saturday, December 26, 2009
This NY Times piece was both amusing and inspiring. Although my firsthand experience with absinthe has always been ugly, I was hooked by the line "Five years ago, Ms. Lins was living in a yurt in New Mexico. To escape the heat, she came to this small town in Delaware County, chosen for no apparent reason other than instinct." The fact that the article's entrepreneurial heroine was recently chasing the archaic lifestyle of Asiatic nomads who haven't known glory since the 13th century in the middle of the Southwestern wastelands, and seems to have eschewed the traditional notion of the American dream prior to her current venture is an impressive testament to both the power of markets and the newly emergent "specialized" sub-sector of the economy. I am still working through the details of how to frame and analyze this growing, "hand-crafted" product trend from a macro perspective, but it dovetails nicely with the fact that two business school classmates of mine have successfully launched a natural dog treat company, and are being well received throughout the market place. Granted they earned their MBA's (not a special qualification for entrepreneurial success, but certainly more grounded in the bottom line than Yurt dwelling), however, their product, branding efforts, and boutique like manufacturing operation are strikingly similar to that of Ms. Linds. I wonder, are some of the great entrepreneurs of the next decade going to be those who offer specialized consumer products that reject the homogenization of tastes that have been prevalent for the last several decades? Just some food for thought.